Related topics: lizards

Leaping lizards: Research tests the limits of gecko adhesion

Many geckos inhabit trees, often living high in the canopy. Relying on their incredible adhesive strength to help them break their fall, they jump from trees, and land on either leaves or relatively smooth tree trunks. How ...

Secrets of the gecko foot help robot climb (w/ Video)

(PhysOrg.com) -- The science behind gecko toes holds the answer to a dry adhesive that provides an ideal grip for robot feet. Stanford mechanical engineer Mark Cutkosky is using the new material, based on the structure of ...

From nature, robots

(PhysOrg.com) -- To a robot designer like Sangbae Kim, the animal kingdom is full of inspiration. "I always look at animals and ask why they are the way they are," says Kim, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering ...

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Gecko

Aeluroscalabotinae Eublepharinae Gekkoninae Teratoscincinae Diplodactylinae

Geckos are small to average sized lizards belonging to the family Gekkonidae, found in warm climates throughout the world. Geckos are unique among lizards in their vocalizations, making chirping sounds in social interactions with other geckos. An estimated 2,000 different species of geckos exist worldwide, with many likely yet to be discovered. The name stems from the Indonesian/Javanese word Tokek, inspired by the sound these animals make. The Malay word for gecko is cicak.

All geckos, excluding the Eublepharinae family, have no eyelids and instead have a transparent membrane which they lick to clean. Many species will, in defense, expel a foul-smelling material and feces onto their aggressors. There are also many species that will drop their tails in defense, a process called autotomy. Many species are well known for their specialized toe pads that enable them to climb smooth and vertical surfaces, and even cross indoor ceilings with ease (it is believed that the van der Waal's force may contribute to this capability). These antics are well-known to people who live in warm regions of the world, where several species of geckos make their home inside human habitations. These species (for example the House Gecko) become part of the indoor menagerie and are often welcome guests, as they feed on insects, including mosquitoes.

The largest species, Delcourt's gecko, is only known from a single, stuffed specimen found in the basement of a museum in Marseille, France. This gecko was 60 cm long and it was native to New Zealand. It was probably wiped out along with much of the native fauna of these islands at the end of the 19th century, when new predators were introduced there. The smallest gecko, the Jaragua Sphaero, is a mere 16 mm long and was discovered in 2001 on a small island off the coast of the Dominican Republic.

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